Colwyn Bay, LL29 7HS
Original Proprietor: Arthur Cheetham.
Architect: Sidney Colwyn Foulkes.
Capacity: 300 seats.
Opened: Friday 22nd December 1911.
Opened by: Francis Nunn.
Date Closed: Saturday 28th May 1955.
Final film shown: ‘”The White Orchid” starring William Lundigan and Peggy Castle.
The Colwyn Bay cinema, Conway Road, Colwyn Bay, opened for business on Friday 22nd December 1911.
The first proprietor was film pioneer Arthur Cheetham. He had cinemas in Rhyl and was expanding his business.
The cinema was built on a site that had been a chapel and a mews. The new hall was designed by Colwyn Bay architect Sidney Colwyn Foulkes.
Proceeds from the first afternoon show, commencing at 3pm went to the Cottage hospital and the opening ceremony was performed by a Mr Francis Nunn. Prices of admission were 4d and 6d in the stalls and 1 shilling (5p) in the balcony. There were two evening performances at 6.30 and 8.30, doors opening fifteen minutes before the performance. The first evenings takings were donated to the Colwyn Bay Town Advertising Association.
A change of ownership took place in 1917 when a J Hartley and Watson Hartley took control. They continued until 1926 and then the cinema was closed for alterations and taken over by Cambrian and Border Cinemas in 1927. It was them that gave it the name Cosy.
The walls were tastefully decorated. A design in gold painting formed a frieze which blended with a white ceiling. Thick carpets were put down on the floors and staircase leading into the balcony. More leg room was provided. Concealed lighting was another improvement. The projection box was raised so patrons would no longer be annoyed by people standing blocking the beam. New Gaumont machines were also installed.
The manager in the newly decorated hall was a Mr Brook Richards, a well-known broadcaster. Films were changed twice a week and shows were continuous from 2.30 – 10.30. An orchestra called The Cosy Orchestra under the direction of Mr H. Tidswell provided accompaniment to the images.
In May 1929 talkie equipment was installed. This was Butcher’s Electrochord system. In 1931 this was replaced by Western Electric.
1935 saw more improvements. Gaumont British Equipments of Manchester secured the contract for the installation of new stage lighting. New stage curtains with electric controls were installed. Also decorative neon lighting was put on the exterior of the building
In 1937 it was taken over by M A Kenyon, owner of the Princess. It ran under the name Cosy Cinema (Colwyn Bay) Ltd.
Mrs Kenyon passed away at the age of 76. One of her sons Frank Kenyon was responsible for management and film bookings.
The cinema closed for good on the Saturday 28th May 1955 with the films ‘”The White Orchid” starring William Lundigan and Peggy Castle, and “The Diamond Expert” starring Clifford Evans.
David A Ellischestercinemas.co.uk